Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 304 Menu: Family Fun! (And more on saying goodbye!)

Hi guys!  Well, we did it.  We are officially moved out of New Mexico.  We have said goodbyes, shed lots of tears, given lots of hugs and packed up our van.

Friday was the kids last day of school.  I posted a little about it Friday morning.  I wasn't quite prepared for all the tears that would be shed, especially by my kids and their friends.  I knew I would probably cry, but I wasn't ready for the unabashed tears flowing from my son's tough, basketball-at-recess-playing friends.  Holy cow.  And sobbing kindergarteners.  Not to mention sweet ten year old tears.

I just keep reminding myself all the little answers to prayers we've gotten the past six months and how things have been working out (or worked out eventually) for our move.  I know Heavenly Father has His hand in the choices we've made.  And I know he'll help us in our transition.

One of my friends reminded me that tears show that you care.  Tears are part of healing.  So, when my kids cry about missing their friends, sometimes I send a text my friends (the moms of these sweet kids that we're missing) so they know how much we care.

We've been blessed with being friends with many great people in our little town.  It is a tiny town and we have gotten to know so many people.  I'll miss knowing tons of people wherever I go...the grocery store, the skating rink, at Target an hour away, our church family, wonderful neighbors, and the school.  Our friends have truly been our family for the last eight years.

I hope the kids remember how everywhere we went at school on Friday, kids, staff and teachers wished us well and said they'd miss us.  The whole fifth grade had a party for my daughter at the end of the day.

We tried to fit in as many visits with our friends as we could last week.  My friends threw me a girls' night, which was super fun.  We had dinner with friends almost every night last week, playdates every day we could, even a liquid nitrogen making ice cream party with our favorite 93 year old friend.  I tried to take lots of pictures and am trying to write everything down.

We're now off to a week of vacation in the Happiest Place on Earth!  Then off to spend the holidays with family.  Eventually we'll end up in Washington to start a new chapter of our lives.

I'm excited for this week to spend time togehter as a family, create lots of memories and have fun together with some of the stress of moving behind us.

While on the road yesterday I was reading an article called Stay Connected, in the Ensign, a church magazine).  A quote at the bottom of the page by Elder M. Russell Ballard jumped out at me.  It said:

“Crisis or transition of any kind reminds us of what matters most. In the routine of life, we often take our families—our parents and children and siblings—for granted. But in times of danger and need and change, there is no question that what we care about most is our families! …
“Our family-centered perspective should make Latter-day Saints strive to be the best parents in the world. It should give us enormous respect for our children, who truly are our spiritual siblings, and it should cause us to devote whatever time is necessary to strengthen our families. Indeed, nothing is more critically connected to happiness—both our own and that of our children—than how well we love and support one another within the family.”

I need to remember this, especially this part, "devote whatever time is necessary to strengthen our families".  I need to let my kids know that I'm there for them.  Stop what I'm doing when they're having a hard time.  Make sure they know they're more important to me than the dishes or our moving plans or anything.

So, my menu for this week is plans, just family fun!  

And to those of you that we're leaving, this isn't goodbye.  It's see you later!  (And don't forget to join instagram and leave me comments on this little blog of mine).

Friday, December 12, 2014

On the hardest day of my kids' lives to date...

So, today might likely be the hardest day of my kids lives so far...their last day with their friends at school.  

My two oldest kids have been making friends here for the last 8 years and now we're making them leave them behind.

It's pretty much heart wrenching and I'm so sad for them. I'm trying to make it fun and memorable, but I'm afraid for when the tears will come.

As I prep some cookies to take to their classes and t-shirts for their classmates to sign I'm trying to remember this little quote...(Thanks LORENE!)
Hopefully this experience will help the kids grow and become stronger and braver.  They are amazing kids!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas for ME...

Oh gosh, guys, my heart is so full these days.  Never mind my short departure from menu-planning, etc. while I share a little.

I already posted yesterday and last week about how things are going with our move, but my family is so blessed.  Even if it weren't Christmas time and we were moving my heart would still be so full.  Let's see if I can word what I'm thinking.  I think it boils down to two things.

1.  FRIENDS!  I have such amazing friends, not only here in New Mexico but all over.  (And yes, I'm including my family as friends, because they are my friends!).  We have been so overwhelmed with so many sweet offers, big and small to help in any way.   I can't even name all the ways people have helped, whether it be huge like letting us live with them for two weeks,  or offering dinner, arranging playdates or even a little email or text to check on me, etc.  (Or letting your kids come play at the drop of the hat so my kids can soak up as much time as they can with their friends.)

Whenever I see my friends around town they always ask with a smile how I'm doing.  I have to answer that I'm doing great, because we are!

I have spent HOURS and HOURS on my phone this last little while, some of which having been things with buying and selling our homes and all that goes with that.  But I've also spent hours answering texts, emails and phone calls from people that I love.

I could go on and on about things that people have done and said that have touched me...

My family is surrounded by so many good, kind, Christlike people.  And that leads into my #2 thing.

2.  Christmas!
This is the view I get when I walk into my friend's house where we're staying.

It's amazing to be moving at Christmastime, because I'm not worrying at all about the usual Christmas things, like shopping and decorating and class parties or even cleaning my house (since we don't have a house.)  If I'm lucky, my kids will have some presents to open on Christmas, but Amazon is making that easy for me.

Instead of worrying about all the hustle and bustle of this time of year, I get to sit back and bask in the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Christ and all that I have because of Him.  I'm surrounded by so many people who are truly Christlike and and are serving and sharing and are wonderful.

I get to bask in friendships, sweet acts of service, and joy in spending time with my children and their friends and time as a family without too many things pulling us in different directions.

Going back to Christmas, this whole move has really strengthened my relationship with my brother, Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father.  My husband and I have relied so much on THEM through prayer these past few months as we've made this decision to pick up our family and move to another place.

It's a scary thing to do, but we have faith that it will work out.

I KNOW that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have heard our prayers and helped us in our decisions.  I KNOW that they know what we're worried about and what's important to us and our family.  I KNOW that they will help us make the best decisions for our family.

Things have all worked out well with out move, not seamlessly, but things have all been working out.  And I have faith that they will continue to work out.  Heavenly Father has our back.  He's watching out for us and knows us and loves us!

This makes thinking about the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Christ, mean so much more.  I want to share this sweet, short little video with you.  It's lovely and sums up some of my feelings.

Now about saying goodbye...I am not good at saying goodbye, nor am I going to try.  I really believe strongly that the friendships we have now will continue after we die.  Maybe that sounds morbid, but I'm really excited that if I don't actually see my friends that I don't live by again that I'll see them in heaven and we'll still be friends.  Life is eternal!  Moving to another state just means that I'll be able to make more wonderful friends, right?

And we have phones, and email, and facebook and instagram to keep in touch!  And more importantly, we'll have an extra bedroom to use as a guestroom anyone to come visit!

So, there is no reason to say goodbye!

Anyway...just wanted to share what I'm thankful for:  sweet people, my brother Jesus Christ, a caring Heavenly Father, and no need to say goodbye!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 303 Menu: Instead of cooking we are...

Hi guys!  Boy, are we getting spoiled this week, especially me because I don't really have to cook at all.  This is our last week in our little town with our friends, so it's pretty much a party week.

Our friends that we're staying with are so sweet.  It's like living with some super cool, really nice inlaws.  They are totally spoiling us, keeping us well fed and very well entertained too.

I don't know about you, but usually I don't walk into the kitchen in the morning and find bread already in the bread machine with softened butter and jam.   Like I said, I'm getting spoiled.

I might blog about more fun stuff we've been doing and some fun traditions that our host-friends have for Christmas.

This is what my menu is looking like:

Monday:  we're having yummy turkey noodle soup that our host-friend made.  I'm making one hour rolls to go with it.

Tuesday:  dinner with friends

Wednseday:  crockpot stew that is already planned and shopped for, I just have to stick it in the crockpot.

Thursday:  dinner with more friends

Friday:  easy night with the kiddos

Saturday:  easy night

Sunday:  we're out of here! and :(

How about you?  What are you making (or eating without making it) this week?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week 302 Menu and BIG NEWS

Hi guys!  WEll, its's been a bit of a crazy last week or so for our family.  Are you ready to hear our big news?

We're moving!  We're leaving New Mexico and moving to Washington in January.  We were lucky enough to sell our house (that we worked our tails off to remodel the last three years) right away.  We closed on it yesterday, so now we are officially homeless for a month or so.

We have some super sweet friends that are letting us stay with them for the next two weeks while we're still in New Mexico.  Then we'll pull the kids out of school and say goodbye to all of our friends and vacation for a few weeks until we head to Washington in time to start school in January.

Definetly bitter sweet emotions going on here.

My husband and I have moved 11 times in the 13 years that we've been married, but we've lived here for almost 8 years now (just in different houses).  This will be our first move with making the kids switch schools and leave their friends.

We've been very blessed and through lots of prayer and help from the Lord things are working out smoothly.  We aren't moving because we hate it here or we don't have a job.  It's just a good opportunity and the right timing for our family to move (especially since my daughter will be in middle school next year!).

However, I'm super sad to leave all of my sweet friends and our wonderful community.  Since we haven't had family close to us, we've really relied on friends for everything.  Thank goodness for facebook and instagram, so we really don't have to say goodbye.

Yesterday was really bittersweet as the movers loaded all of our stuff up into the moving van and we emptied our house.  We've put lots of blood, sweat and tears into it and we have loads of wonderful memories from the last three and a half years of living there.  Leaving a rental house isn't quite the same for me as it is leaving a home that you own and put your mark on.

It made it a little easier to move, since as we were finishing up with the movers, the new owners were waiting outside asking when we were going to leave.  (Awkward!)

Anyway...I snapped some cell phone pictures of my kids playing on the computer in our empty living room yesterday after school.  Our sweet neighbor brought over some yummy brownies, so thankfully my kids wouldn't starve like they thought they were going to because the cupboards were empty.

My heart is so full of different emotions, sadness to leave this chapter of our life, excitement looking forward to our new adventure, gratitude for all those that have done things for us and offered anything we need.

Anyway...Here's my attempt at taking a last picture of the kiddos in front of our house.  (My five year was enjoying me telling him to stop jumping because he was making the picuter blurry.  Love five year olds!)  I'm gonna miss this view with the front door, windows, trim and siding that we installed and I painted.  Maybe someday I'll post a before picture....
We're not leaving town for another two weeks, so since we won't have a home to take care of and pack up, we can focus on enjoying our friends and favorite places a little longer.

And of course it's menu time.  Our friends that we're staying with work full-time so I figure I should probably make dinner.  :)  I'll plan three meals and go from there.

Honey-lime enchiladas
Taco soup
BBQ chicken tinfoil dinners

What are you making this week?  And forgive me for totally skipping Thanksgiving talk.  Maybe I'll post about it tomorrow.  Moving is on my mind today.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 301 Menu

Hi guys!  Happy Monday!  And happy Thanksgiving week!  Are you ready for all the yummy food?  I think I'm mostly excited for pie...and that I won't have to make all the food myself.  :)

This week is going to be a bit crazy, so I thought I'd do something different for my menu.  Instead of posting my menu for this week, I thought I'd post what we ACTUALLY ate last week.  I kind of stuck to my menu.
So, here you go...what we ACTUALLY ate last week for dinner:

Monday:  tacos

Tuesday:  homemade pizza

Wednesday: chicken tetrazinni

Thursday: crockpot kalua pork, coconut rice

Friday:  waffles using my light and fluffy pancake mix

Saturday:  frito pies

Sunday:  orange chicken with scotcharoos and brownies for dessert (the kids wanted brownies, but I wanted to use up the rice krispies that were lying around in the pantry).  Yum!

All righty...what are you making this week?  I'd love to hear what you're having for Thanksgiving!  You can see my Thanksgiving favorites on my sidebar.